Mars (Season 1) – Only for Dorks

Rating (2.5 out of 5)

Summary: “Mars” is a National Geographic TV show combining interviews with current scientists with a fictional story about landing on Mars. The fictional story is passable and the aspects shared about the science are fascinating. However, overall the mix slowed down the show too much and “Mars” is fairly dry. For science fiction dorks, “Mars” is probably a good watch. For my wife and daughter, stay far away.

Season 1 is currently on Netflix.

Plot: A crew embarks on a mission to colonize Mars. They must overcome obstacles daily to survive and start a new life on Mars.

Detail: I didn’t enjoy how the show started when Commander Ben Sawyer (Ben Cotton) is seriously injured when they landed on Mars. If the crew had thoroughly prepared for the Mars mission as discussed in their interviews, a scenario such as this would be contemplated. Losing an individual should be an expectation. And the crew certainly would not and should not risk saving him while risking the mission.

There were inconsistencies through the whole show. In particular, AI was underutilized, especially considering the landing takes place 15 years in the future. There were a number of other areas, where technology is inconsistently utilized on Mars.

Finally, the show superbly demonstrates how scientists are currently testing the probable conditions on Mars. One test was the psychological pressures of living on Mars and the stress facing the constant challenge of living your daily life. However, one gentleman in the story loses his grip on reality and eventually cracks, killing 7. Based on the current science and reducing corporate liability, the colony would outline strict protocols to prevent his actions. The doctor identifies him at risk, but doesn’t escalate, doesn’t change protocols, nothing. It is this bifurcation between the current science and the story that annoyed.

While I enjoyed an overview of the science and challenges provided, I didn’t enjoy the inconsistencies that existed. Also, if you aren’t into science, the show drags.

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